Jean-Pierre Adams: French footballer dies after 39 years in a coma

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Former French international, Jean-Pierre Adams has passed away after spending 39 years in coma. He was pronounced dead on Monday, September 6, 2021 at the Nimes University Hospital in France.

The former Paris Saint Germain, Nice, and Nimes defender died at the age of 73 and was survived by a wife, Bernadette, and two sons – Laurent (born 1969) and Frédéric (born 1976).

Jean-Pierre Adams played professional football between 1967 and 1981 before he decided to retire. He retired at a French club known as Chalon.

Before he retired from professional football, he represented France national team between 1972 and 1976. Within that period, he made 22 appearances for the French team.

After he decided to retire from professional football, he tried to become a coach. That decision led him to attend a coaching course in Dijon, France.

While at the coaching camp, he felt a little discomfort in his knee and decided to place the course on hold to attend to the knee. Hence, Jean-Pierre Adams who was 34-year-old then, decided to go to a hospital in Lyon for a scan.

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According to a report by the Guardian, the scan result showed that Jean-Pierre Adams had a damaged tendon at the back of his knee. A medical expert advised him to undergo surgery to treat it.

On the day of the surgery, March 1982, many health workers were said to be on strike at the hospital in Lyon. Hence, less experience health workers were left to attend to him.

Despite that, the operation was not called off. On the day of the operation, Jean-Pierre Adams reportedly told his wife, Bernadette, that “It’s all fine, I’m in great shape”.

Before the operation started, anesthesia was administered to him which forced him into a coma while the operation lasted. He was expected to wake up after few hours but never did.

Reports later emerged that mistakes were made during the administration of the anesthesia. A trainee who supervised the operation then reportedly said: “I was not up to the task I was entrusted with.”

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It was confirmed that the error damaged Jean-Pierre Adams’ brain and caused him to suffer a cardiac arrest.

After staying at the hospital for 15 months, Adams was discharged from the hospital and taken home. Since then, his wife took care of him until his death.

Jean-Pierre Adams: France footballer dies after 39 years in a coma
Jean-Pierre Adams’ wife Bernadette holding his picture.

The last time his wife gave an update about his health condition was in 2007. In the brief update, she said: “Jean-Pierre feels, smells, hears, jumps when a dog barks. But he cannot see.”

As for the anesthetist and trainee that carried out the operation, they were not left score-free. Adams’ doctor while he was at PSG, Pierre Huth, led a case against how the operation was handled.

After seven years of legal battle, Seventh Chamber of Correctional Tribunal in Lyon found the doctors guilty of involuntary injury. They were punished with one-month suspended sentence and a 750 euro fine.

“Paris Saint-Germain offers its condolences to his family and loved ones”, PSG wrote in a lengthy statement published on the club’s official site.

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